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Old 02-05-2009, 05:56 AM   #1
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Default Lots of Crystal 20 or a little of crystal 120

What is the difference between adding something like 2 # of crystal 20 or 1/4 # of crystal 120 to a beer. I know that the amounts can be changed so that the color is the same but will there be any difference in sweetness or complexity?

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Old 02-05-2009, 06:22 AM   #2
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There's a huge difference. The Wiki has descriptions of the various crystals. Basically, 20L will be more of a candy sweetness, the 120L will be more raisiny.

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Old 02-05-2009, 06:41 AM   #3
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thanks! That's actually a very helpfull link. Here i thought it was different strenths of the same malt but really it's all different malts that are similar.

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Old 02-05-2009, 01:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 944play View Post
the 120L will be more raisiny.
I keep seeing people saying that, but I wonder what the threshold is. I recently used over 10% in a porter (maybe more of an English Dark Ale), and I don't taste any raisin flavors. It did taste raisiny when it was young (1 week in bottle), but after 3 weeks in bottles, the raisin flavor disappeared and the beer is quite good.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:21 PM   #5
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You say that like raisin is a bad flavor. I liken it to carry more burnt, molassesy, and rich flavors than lighter crystals. I think the use of adjacent lovibond crystals is more about color impact, choosing 40L over 20L for instance, but once you get at least 40L apart, there's a definite flavor impact in quantities over say 5%.

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Old 02-05-2009, 01:32 PM   #6
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You say that like raisin is a bad flavor.
I didn't mean to imply that. I actually thought it was an "interesting" flavor. When I first tasted it, I thought... wow that tastes like raisins or prunes. But it was interesting that the flavor literally disappeared after a couple more weeks in the bottle.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:19 PM   #7
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I think just about all flavors mellow/meld. I just had that happen on a smoked porter where smoke was prominent for about 2 weeks, now it's subtle.

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Old 02-05-2009, 03:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donthoseme View Post
What is the difference between adding something like 2 # of crystal 20 or 1/4 # of crystal 120 to a beer. I know that the amounts can be changed so that the color is the same but will there be any difference in sweetness or complexity?
Besides of color and taste by adding more of a light colored crystal you increase amount of non fermentable sugars hence impacting FG and body of your beer.
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